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If England Had Top-Level Area of Origin Teams for one month

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If England Had Top-Level Area of Origin Teams for one month

Postby rugby ideas » Sun, 19 May 2019, 21:42

Imagine if for one month every year each top player from England 'came home' and represented the local authority area where they grew up, instead of their usual club, money, injuries and timing are no issue in my utopia. Enter now. Imagine how refreshingly different it could be to see the stars line up in these affiliation teams, and away from the usual big v small shopping trollies club football routine.
There are 150 main local council areas in England (metropolitan boroughs, shires and unitaries of 200,000 to 1.2 million inhabitants each), so there would be upto 150 but more likely around 24 official representation teams signing up (idea A), maybe playing in divisions or in a pre-seeded ladder of likely-to-be-fairly-evenly-matched opponents (the best way to do the seeding process is another gr8 discussion topic by the way!), and rather than have the top seeds play the bottom seeds, I suggest we would design a cleverly imagined opponent allocation system just for this, that gives out more than one trophy (best improver and best in comparison to population ‘little giant’ might be two of the five trophies of the 5 to fight for). We’d have a total break from the usual clubs all playing at completely different shopping trolley budget levels.
There are some wonderful opponent allocation system ideas and format ideas to contemplate … Who might do particularly well and who might wear which colour?
I like to picture a team in blue or red going up against a team in green or grey or yellow, at your local stadium, and it’s two of the boroughs or shires and unitaries nearest your house squaring off, a bit like a world cup game, but this time WE control the whole thing and can make changes wherever improvement is possible. Such as re-balancing how many teams could finish first this year with the trade-off considerations of bringing in separations that bring about more evenly matched pairings, and the other competing influences being those of wanting to put teams up against opponents who are not too far away, probably getting more tickets sold if we can set all later opponents in advance, rather than leave the determining of the next opponent dependent on the outcome of the first game, wanting to let teams who are lower down have big opportunities (but not setting the up to be annihilated), and wishing to make use of foreign-born players in a way that makes the top seed unable to use them but other areas can use them when playing against the top seed ...
Version B of the idea is to have only two opponents per team per year 1v3, 2v4, 5v7, 6v8, … & 1v2, 3v4, 5v6, 7v8, 9v10, …. so one Friday and the ensuing Sunday might suffice. This way, we could use just the biggest stadiums, get a bigger percentage of the games onto the top TV channels, and all games would feel more like they matter in playing for the top positions.

If it makes the contest better, the top one and the bottom one seed might, from year 3 onwards, be given slightly different rules in terms of the top one having to have a set number of younger players on and the bottom one being allowed some players from outside their area .... (in case this is the best way to give the others a better chance without the event losing its goodness overall).

Either way, this new third allegiance period could make life better by bringing in something new and different and something for those who are not followers of any club, while also building friendship bridges between the derby rivals for a time.

OR Version C of this idea might be to have only 8 teams in total, one for each of the top 7 seeds police force areas, and an alliance of all other parts, and we make it a tournament with a groups stage and SF & a trophy game. This way, we could use just the biggest stadiums and all games would feel more like they matter in playing for the top positions.

We might even do the most shocking and controversial thing anyone has ever done and bring in a points system where the team that (with clean fair play) makes the best forward play with lots of passes in each 10-minute part of the game is worth one point each, and a try is worth 10 (or so …. Let’s improve on this a little and make it more specific before we kill it dead! Would it help to give a bonus minus point for foul play? Or maybe the 10-minute segments would already contain all of this adequately), so this system/game could maybe be called Rugby League 2 = only really good if we stick to our main wish list presumption that we get to use all the top (eligible) English Rugby League players, and that we get impartial judges for the scoring. Or we delete this mad paragraph, pretend it never happened and let our tournament games go to a version of penalties to decide who advances if a semi-final ends in a draw, as usual?

Idea A would give every area an important official representation game to look forward to every year, and in which new and old stars could vie for some well-earned local stardom in their home town & borough.

But Ideas B and C bring elements of thought focusing on using just the biggest stadiums, getting a bigger percentage of the games onto the top TV channels, and all games would feel more like they matter in playing for the top position. Does this make the better than Idea A

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Re: If England Had Top-Level Area of Origin Teams for one mo

Postby RugbyLiebe » Tue, 21 May 2019, 15:06

I've heard about this idea of yours. I reckon it was called Home "Nations" and involved British teams named England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland.
How to grow rugby worldwide?
Look at the world ranking in July. Teams ranked 1-10 have to play one team from 11-20 (they don't play in a regular competition) away the next year. 11-20 play 21-30 away and so on. Yes, it really is that simple.

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Re: If England Had Top-Level Area of Origin Teams for one mo

Postby Figaro » Sat, 25 May 2019, 21:05

I don't think English people really feel much regional affiliation and that which they do is at a very broad level e.g. "Northerner", "West Midlands", "Londoner". Most of the local authority areas are administrative districts without much history.

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Re: If England Had Top-Level Area of Origin Teams for one mo

Postby rugby ideas » Sat, 01 Jun 2019, 22:00

I know they don't currently have much affiliation with the boroughs, districts and shires other than "Yorkshireman" or "from Essex" but I wish to keep the question open on the assumption that, or rather what if it weren't hypothesis that this were no barrier - we're not saying to form armies and currencies or anything, but as people do vote and live within these areas I think there could be potential for something new here that could maybe even (if funds, injuries, player and stadium availability and timetable clashes were no issue, in my utopia) one day draw bigger crowds than the average top club games do, as people from the edges of the rugby world and beyond come out of the woodwork to support their home areas and their home areas' stars

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Re: If England Had Top-Level Area of Origin Teams for one mo

Postby Tobar » Sat, 01 Jun 2019, 22:06

Would a state of origin for Ireland or Wales make more sense? Smaller areas and Ireland already has 4 provinces.

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Re: If England Had Top-Level Area of Origin Teams for one mo

Postby victorsra » Sun, 02 Jun 2019, 12:35

Well the Counties Championship was basically the English championship in amateur era before the Premiership. And they had formed a North of England team in the past too...
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Re: If England Had Top-Level Area of Origin Teams for one mo

Postby rey200 » Sun, 02 Jun 2019, 12:39

ceremonial counties and scrap the smallest ones.
Ceterum censeo Sex Nationes esse augendas.

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Re: If England Had Top-Level Area of Origin Teams for one mo

Postby RugbyLiebe » Mon, 03 Jun 2019, 08:05

Before you spam every national thread with your idea, I give you a less sarcastic answer, than the Rule-Britannia-tribalism-on-rainy-islands-reply

This only works, when you have a full amateur setup. The reason is, that en contraire to your believe, people don't get behind their region that much. This is because you can't market it enough and you will never have a chance to actively build a team. Also people enjoy it way more, when your team beats your neighbouring city and you can brag about it at work in front of your colleague from that beaten city.

Regions are formed, when a market is extremely small and "franchises" can't hold up a pro status on their own (see NZ, Ireland, Scotland, Wales), but even those regions allow to get players from other regions/outside, as you need to do that to build a team.

This is the reason, while those province/state games have vanished in every major sport, apart from some beloved traditions like the "State of Origins". But that's an anachronism due to the fact of next to no serious international game in Rugby League. Not a path to follow. If a country like Germany, with such an extreme dominating sport like soccer doesn't see state teams in soccer feasible (we actually had that). You can bet, that this idea is totally not working, apart from the romantic vibe it brings along.

Do you want new long-term-rivalries? Force your national teams, to play every other nation on the continent. There you get your new rivalries in 20-30 years time.
How to grow rugby worldwide?
Look at the world ranking in July. Teams ranked 1-10 have to play one team from 11-20 (they don't play in a regular competition) away the next year. 11-20 play 21-30 away and so on. Yes, it really is that simple.

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Re: If England Had Top-Level Area of Origin Teams for one mo

Postby Thomas » Mon, 03 Jun 2019, 08:27

We do have the Bill Beaumont County Championships and is made up of 3 divisions, it has had a bit of renaissance in recent years. The crop of England Counties was selected from the top Division.

Cornwall won it this year.

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Re: If England Had Top-Level Area of Origin Teams for one mo

Postby RugbyLiebe » Mon, 03 Jun 2019, 08:33

Thomas wrote:We do have the Bill Beaumont County Championships and is made up of 3 divisions, it has had a bit of renaissance in recent years. The crop of England Counties was selected from the top Division.

Cornwall won it this year.


Let me guess: this is full on amateur and not a single pro player takes part? As an amateur competition this makes a lot of sense and is a fun pastime.
I had the impression, that our new friend here wants the pro players in.
How to grow rugby worldwide?
Look at the world ranking in July. Teams ranked 1-10 have to play one team from 11-20 (they don't play in a regular competition) away the next year. 11-20 play 21-30 away and so on. Yes, it really is that simple.

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Re: If England Had Top-Level Area of Origin Teams for one mo

Postby Thomas » Mon, 03 Jun 2019, 09:06

RugbyLiebe wrote:
Thomas wrote:We do have the Bill Beaumont County Championships and is made up of 3 divisions, it has had a bit of renaissance in recent years. The crop of England Counties was selected from the top Division.

Cornwall won it this year.


Let me guess: this is full on amateur and not a single pro player takes part? As an amateur competition this makes a lot of sense and is a fun pastime.
I had the impression, that our new friend here wants the pro players in.


I wouldn't call it 100% Amateur, players get match fees or are semi pro but mostly amateur, I am just saying there is a competition already. I wouldn't want to see PRO's in the cup. It is well known Players in Level 5 Rugby get payments.

The top divisions draws players from :
From the third tier and below (National League 1, National League 2 North or National League 2 South and lower leagues).

Division 3 draws it's players from the fifth tier and below :

Promotion and relegation occurs every two seasons, with accumulated points taken into consideration.
Last edited by Thomas on Mon, 03 Jun 2019, 10:11, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: If England Had Top-Level Area of Origin Teams for one mo

Postby Raven » Mon, 03 Jun 2019, 09:49

RugbyLiebe wrote:Before you spam every national thread with your idea, I give you a less sarcastic answer, than the Rule-Britannia-tribalism-on-rainy-islands-reply

This only works, when you have a full amateur setup. The reason is, that en contraire to your believe, people don't get behind their region that much. This is because you can't market it enough and you will never have a chance to actively build a team. Also people enjoy it way more, when your team beats your neighbouring city and you can brag about it at work in front of your colleague from that beaten city.

Regions are formed, when a market is extremely small and "franchises" can't hold up a pro status on their own (see NZ, Ireland, Scotland, Wales), but even those regions allow to get players from other regions/outside, as you need to do that to build a team.

This is the reason, while those province/state games have vanished in every major sport, apart from some beloved traditions like the "State of Origins". But that's an anachronism due to the fact of next to no serious international game in Rugby League. Not a path to follow. If a country like Germany, with such an extreme dominating sport like soccer doesn't see state teams in soccer feasible (we actually had that). You can bet, that this idea is totally not working, apart from the romantic vibe it brings along.

Do you want new long-term-rivalries? Force your national teams, to play every other nation on the continent. There you get your new rivalries in 20-30 years time.


Can I add also that (given by the audience numbers shown on franchise matches on TV) there isn´t a real team "hardcore support" that you may experience when watching clubs play each other?
Especially in a place like England where the pfofessional club structure was adopted OFFICIALLY since 1995, changing to a franchise system to "try" something that isn´t working as well in the rest of UK (pehaps only works in Ireland at some extent) and is begining to show flaws in the Southern Hemisphere -you hardly ever see a packed stadium in Super Rugby until maybe the final- makes no sense at all.

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Re: If England Had Top-Level Area of Origin Teams for one mo

Postby honestly_united » Tue, 04 Jun 2019, 13:00

The county championship used to be the pinnacle of rugby in England (and likewise in Wales, Scotland and Ireland) apart from Internationals obviously. As there was no league rugby, it was really the only competitive games, and was also seen as a trial for international selection. However with the advent of leagues, you had more players moving from the local clubs to the teams in higher leagues and the competitive games meant the county championship lost its appeal, and with the advent of professionalism it pretty much died out.

As has been stated above the county championship is for players the level below the fully professional game and is pretty much a nice to have end of season run about, rather than a serious tournament.

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Re: If England Had Top-Level Area of Origin Teams for one mo

Postby sk 88 » Sat, 08 Jun 2019, 10:06

I would dispute that the county championship was ever really the pinnacle of rugby in England. Have you ever heard a player describe winning it like that? Because I haven't. Prior to the 70s when it was the only comp in town it worked effectively as a club comp anyway, the Warwickshire team of the 60s was entirely the Coventry team with like 1 player from Rugby.

These days its quite a nice end of season run around and a decent level for the c.4 counties that take it seriously (Cornwall, Cheshire, Lancashire & Hertfordshire).

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